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135. 13.194 LEKYTHOS from Gela PLATE LXXXIV, 2

Height 0.277. AJA. 1918 p. 119. Youth playing the lyre. About 470 B.C., by Douris (ARV.1 p. 293 no. 208; ARV.2 p. 447 no. 273).

The shape is again standard, and the foot has the same form as in no. 134, though less flaring. The neck is a little longer, and the incurve of the mouth more pronounced. The decoration is of the same 'bare' type as in many lekythoi already described (see ii p. 41; Boston 00.341): the greater part of the shoulder black, and no pattern above the picture. Tongue-pattern at the top of the shoulder, but not of the same type as in no. 134. Below the figure, a band of maeander, with a large cross-square in the middle: not characteristically Dourian.

A youth, his cloak laid over one shoulder, squats, ὀκλάζει, holding lyre and plectrum, his left hand at the strings. He leans back, and looks up, with lips parted, about to sing or play. The drawing is not very careful, but there is feeling in the figure. The attitude is unusual for a lyre-player: nearest, the lyre-player on the interior of an early red-figure cup in Florence, Florence PD 274, but he does not lean back. A frontalized version of the attitude is given by the satyr musician on an archaic Etruscan scarab in New York.1

Relief-contours. Brown inner markings. Brown for the thick forehead hair, for the whisker, and for a line indicating the moustache (rather than the cheek). There is a little repainting at the lower end of the cloak. Red for the head-fillet, the plectrum-string, and the inscription ICΑΛΟΣ (ΚΑΛΟΣ).

The vase belongs to the Polyphrasmon period (iii p. 17; Boston 00.338). Close to it, a finer lekythos in the University of Vienna, with Eros, in a squatting position, blowing a trumpet of war.2 Two other lekythoi, of inferior quality, go with these, but seem too poor for the master himself: one in New York, with Nike flying, the other in Harvard (from the collection of Professor F. M. Watkins), with a woman holding an alabastron.3 The drawing of the tongue-pattern and of the pattern-band below the figure is the same in all these.

Besides the three lekythoi by Douris already mentioned, we have five others.4 Of these, the white lekythos in Palermo, with the sacrifice of Iphigeneia, belongs to the Chairestratos period; and so does the red-figured lekythos in Bologna, also choice, but abominably restored. According to Laurenzi it is in perfect condition, and he reports a flattering reaction under fluorescent rays;5 evidently the scientific process is susceptible of improvement.


Alscher 1963, p. 125, note 239; Wegner 1968b, p. 222; Para., p. 375, no. 273 (as 13.104); Kurtz 1975, p. 25, note 4; D. C. Kurtz, Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum 4 (1989), pp. 118 (note 4), 120 (note 17); Maas & Snyder 1989, pp. 118, 237, note 83.


1 Bull. Metr. 30 p. 256; Richter Etruscan Art in the Museum fig. 94; Richter Cat. Gems pl. 28, 165.

2 Vienna, Univ., 526a: CV. pl. 13, 2-3: ARV.1 p. 293 no. 209; ARV.2 p. 447 no. 272.

3 New York 25.78.1. Harvard 1953.193: Coll. Lambros pl. 7, 51; Coll. Hirsch pl. 3, 169. ARV.2 p. 451 nos. 35 and 34.

4 ARV.1 pp. 292-3; ARV.2 pp. 446-7 nos. 266-9 and 271.

5 In Arte Antica e Moderna 1 p. 11.

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